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Poet and prose writer Frances McCue will discuss where poems and stories begin, using the model of Richard Hugo’s Triggering Town, and offer some ideas to generate new work. She will discuss how to build a community of writers around your fledgling poems and prose, seek the best ways to garner feedback, and offer wise-minded forms of critique and methods for moving into more ambitious aesthetic aspirations. Finally, McCue will present a look at maintaining an independent voice in the face of tough challenges in publishing and in well-meaning groups that offer a wide array of feedback. The lectures will be followed by breakout discussions to test out the practices described.
The dates for this Craft Intensive are: February 5, 19, and 26
Craft intensives provide an opportunity to absorb insights into the process and practice of accomplished writers who have a particular approach to writing, or who are investigating specific elements of the writer’s toolbox. These sessions include a mix of craft talk and discussion, offering participants a learning experience that differs from our traditional writing workshop model, which focuses primarily on student work. The craft intensive model enables more participants to engage with the ideas and philosophy of the featured writer. The tone is conversational and informal. While most Hugo House classes are fairly small (typically limited to 15 people), our craft intensives are open to up to 40 participants, allowing for lively discussion, questions, conversation, and/or smaller breakout groups.
Frances McCue is a senior lecturer in the English department at the University of Washington and a public scholar and arts instigator. She is a poet and prose writer who has has spent her career connecting academic inquiries with community life. From 1996–2006, she was the founding director of Hugo House in Seattle. She has published five books, including a book of essays about poet Richard Hugo and another about the photographer Mary Randlett. Her new book of poems, Timber Curtain, is an exploration of lost places in our fast-developing city and arose from work on Where the House Was, a documentary film that began in collaboration with her UW undergraduates. She was the 2013 Teacher of Distinction in the Undergraduate Honors Program and in 2018, she won the UW Distinguished Teaching Award.